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Thursday, June 29, 2006

New Web Address for Stand Up For Science

We have now set up the Stand Up For Science blog to be integrated with the newly designed Pro-Test webpage. This means that further articles and updates will not be published on this page, but on the new blog address http://www.pro-test.org.uk/StandUpForScience.html

Be sure to update your bookmarks, and I look forward to seeing you all on the new webpage!

Kristina

posted by Kristina Cook at 9:21 PM  

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Whew! More Human Lives Saved by Mice!!

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Scientists were testing a new treatment for Hepatitis B, called RNA interference, on a large number of mice, when a large number of them died after treatment.

RNA interference, aka RNAi, is becoming a widely used technique in laboratories. Essentially, what RNAi does is silence genes. It’s a relatively new form of gene therapy. It can be used (and is already being tested in humans in some cases), as a treatment for disease by silencing the genes that cause a particular disease. In today’s case they were trying to silence hepatitis B genes.

Unfortunately they saw rapid liver toxicity in a significant portion of the mice. While this serves as a setback to the scientist’s research, some of the cases were successful in turning off the Hepatitis B genes, and the mice lived.

After reanalyzing the data, the scientists realized that the dosage seemed to be partially related to the toxic effects. It also appeared that a new technique they had employed for delivering the RNAi, may not work as well as they thought, and might in fact be toxic.

So it may be back to the drawing board for the scientists- at least in looking for a new delivery method. But the good news is, some mice did recover. Perhaps with some tweaking, they may find a new way to treat Hepatitis B.

I am thankful that mice were trialed for this treatment. If they hadn’t have been used, it could have been one of us being tested for this new RNAi, and subsequently suffering liver poisoning. Luckily, for every human, the laws allow us to use mice for this purpose, and the mice caught a potentially deadly side effect, before it could be passed for use in humans. Three cheers for lab mice and new medical treatments!

For More Details: New York Times article

posted by Kristina Cook at 1:37 PM  

About the author

Kristina Cook Name: Kristina Cook

Location: Oxford, United Kingdom


My name is Kristina Cook and I am a first year DPhil (PhD) student in a mix of Chemistry/Biochemistry and Pharmacology at Oxford University. I am 23 years old. I just moved to Oxford from Washington DC, where I lived for two months as part of the graduate program I am in. Before this I had lived in San Diego, California for five years where I went to San Diego State University for my undergraduate education. In those five years I had the opportunity to further my science education by working for a wonderful small biotech/pharmaceutical company for three years, in the in-vitro pharmacology department. I also worked in an academic lab in synthetic chemistry, for two years. I am now out in Oxford, researching cancer angiogenesis, specifically some of the proteins involved, and looking for potential new ways of treating cancer.

This Blog

This page has been set up to promote scientific research and show support for animal research conducted ethically and intelligently. Recent news in science, discussions on science and animal research and guest writings by fellow scientists are just a few of the things you can expect to find here. Build the Oxford Lab!

Links

Article I published on Animal Testing
Click to Give a Free Mammogram to a Woman in Need
Research Defense Society Blog
One of the Many Articles on Our February Demonstration
Coalition for Medical Progress

Previous

Alzheimer's Vaccine from Mice!?
New Web Address for Stand Up For Science
Whew! More Human Lives Saved by Mice!!
New Web Address for Stand Up For Science
"New” breast-cancer drug progresses to human trials
Macaque Studies Find Potential AIDS Preventative Treatment
Recent Breakthrough in Medicine Thanks to Animal Research!
Why Animal Research is Important AND Needed: A Copy of the Speech I Gave on the February 25th Demonstration
Facts about Animal Research
The Dawn of a New Age: Standing up, Proud and Tall, For Animal Research and The Oxford Lab

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